A couple of months after arriving in France …
“Breaking News Update! With the shocking attacks on the
World Trade Center in New York barely twenty-four hours ago, an explosion this
morning at the oldest security and consulting firm in London is thought to be
another act of the same terrorist group.
“The explosion at the Watcher’s Council headquarters
building this morning could be felt ten kilometers away and broke windows up to
a kilometer away from ground zero. Experts are saying that the bombs were set to
explode at 10:30a.m, presumably to produce the highest possible collateral
damage within the ranks of the firm. Authorities have not released the exact
death toll, but it is thought to include the head of the firm, Quentin Travers
as well as ...”
The Bot frowned as Spike cut the volume down on the
television. “They are taking credit away from you and giving it to terrorists,”
“All the better,” Spike assured her as he stared out the
large picture window above the television. “Least they won’t be lookin’ for us
while they’re chasin’ bloody ghosts.”
"But your planning and execution were so bloody brilliant,"
the Bot pouted. "It is not fair that you went to all that work and expense, and
you do not even receive a mention by the politically-controlled, yet inane,
"'S alright, pet. Don't need the accolades; the result's
all that makes a bloody damn. Killed the wankers, didn't I? Foolin' this chip
ain't as hard as it looks. Put the explosives in empty boxes o' chocolates and
it don't know the soddin' difference. Shoddy workmanship's what it is. 'Course,
anyone that'd have Captain Cardboard as a leader ... well, it's to be expected,
“Do you believe the man with crushed genitals was in the
building when it exploded?” the Bot asked.
Spike shook his head. “No. Made sure of it. Got different
plans for him, I do. Getting’ blown t’ bits is too good for that wanker.”
Spike’s eyes came to rest on Buffy, who was sitting in her
normal place in an Adirondack chair on the white sand beach outside their small,
rented bungalow. The Mediterranean Sea stretched out beyond her, bluer than the
sky, and sparkling like diamonds in the autumn sun.
This ‘campground’ in the south of France had been a perfect
hiding place for them during the summer with tourists constantly coming and
going. Now, though, the beaches and most of the bungalows near them were nearly
deserted as summer began to fade into fall. Buffy didn’t seem to notice the
cooling temperatures or the thinning crowds. She didn’t seem to notice much of
anything these days, truth be told. She spent her days on the white sand beach
outside their backdoor, swimming, walking in the surf, or just sitting and
staring at the blue, crystalline sea.
The baby she was carrying was just starting to show on her
thin frame now – she hadn’t been wrong or lying about being pregnant. Spike
looked down at the three home pregnancy tests that stayed on top of the TV, and
idly straightened them each with a finger. When Buffy missed her period a couple
of weeks after they'd arrived in France, he’d sent the Bot to the
store to buy one. When he’d finally been able to convince Buffy to pee on the
stick – something she had been vehemently opposed to doing – it came back
positive. Not believing it, he sent the Bot back to the store for another one –
a different brand – and then another one. They all came back positive. Buffy
was, indeed, pregnant.
They had an evening appointment next week with an
English-speaking midwife in the nearby town of Perpignan. The midwife worked
with an OBGYN, but had assured Spike on the phone that, as long as the mother
was healthy and there were no complications, a home birth was no problem. Spike
didn’t want to take Buffy to the hospital for many reasons, not the least of
which was her hatred and fear of them. Buffy had calmed down considerably since
being here – fewer things seemed to utterly unhinge her – but he didn’t know what would
happen if she got truly scared again, especially now that she had her full
Spike looked up from the three test sticks and back at
Buffy. The breeze off the sea was billowing through her long, flaxen hair, her
skin had regained a deep golden tan from the weeks spent in the sun, and all the
wounds – at least the external ones – that had been inflicted on her, had healed.
She looked like the picture of health … except for her eyes. Anyone that didn’t
know her might not notice, but Spike did. The fire was gone from her eyes. The
fight, the vitality, the passion that had been in them had died. Everything that
made Buffy Buffy had been extinguished.
Spike had seen that look before in the eyes of two other
Slayers – just before he killed them. They had given up, welcomed the end of the
fight. He had seen in it Buffy before, also – while she was in her ‘fugue’ state
after Dawn had died. She’d just gotten past that, gotten her guilt and despair
under control when the Council’s Wet Works team had tricked Spike, used him as
bait, and snatched her.
He had hoped that she could break out of her depression,
but so far – nearly two months later – she hadn’t. This time it was different
than before. Now she was a walking, talking shell; an animated corpse. She could
understand you when you spoke to her and she could reply coherently, but there
was nothing of the Buffy he knew left: no quips, no smart-ass remarks, no jokes,
no laughter, no indignation. She had two modes: frightened beyond all reason or
relative indifference to everyone and everything. It was like her heart had
simply shut down.
Spike had given her space and given her time, but she never
came to him. The few times he’d instinctively reached out and touched her, she’d
flinched and pulled away, leaving him even more guilt-ridden than before.
He told Buffy that he loved her every day, but it didn’t
seem to register with her. He knew she could hear him, knew she could
understand, but the declaration fell on deaf ears, and was never returned. Of
course, he didn’t really expect it to be returned – he knew he was undeserving
of her love.
As obscene as it sounded even to his ears, he was a little
bit thankful for her depressed state, it had kept her from flying away from him
– at least physically. He knew that when she was stronger she'd most certainly
leave him. He knew that he didn’t deserve either her affection or her trust. She
was using him now, biding her time. It hurt ... a lot. There was a dagger in his
gut that twisted constantly with that knowledge, but it was better than the
alternative: not having her at all.
Still, his poet’s heart refused to give up completely, so
he kept trying everyday, hoping against hope that one day she'd say the words
back to him again. His heart had always been foolish.
The Bot came up behind Spike and wrapped her arms around
his waist, resting her head on his shoulder-blade. She slid one hand down and
cupped his penis through his jeans with her warm palm. “Can I love you today?”
she asked, giving his genitals a soft squeeze.
Spike pulled her hand away. “Not today,” he replied, his
tone flat, almost bored. He’d stopped getting angry with her for it. She asked
him every day without fail since Buffy had been taken.
“Buffy said I should love you for her if she was gone,” the
Bot reminded him again, as she did every day.
“She’s not gone,” Spike growled back at her through
clenched teeth, never taking his eyes off Buffy.
The Bot backed away from him, her features sullen. “It appears that her circuits
were overheated and badly damaged. It is as if she is gone. I promised her that
I would love you for her. You are not allowing me to keep my promise.”
Spike closed his eyes and took in several deep breaths as
he fought the tears back. “She’s … not … gone,” he repeated emphatically, his
voice cracking with the emotions he tried so hard to contain. “Now drop it,” he
snarled at her as tears leaked from behind his closed lids.
“I will go take Buffy a glass of milk. I calculate that she
is not consuming the recommended amount of calcium a gestating human should
receive,” the Bot offered, before turning and heading to the small
kitchenette in the bungalow.
Spike opened his eyes and blinked to clear his vision. Only
then did he realize he had clenched his fists so hard his nails had drawn blood
on his palms. He flexed his hands and wiped the blood off on his jeans, trying
to get his pain and frustration under control.
He watched the Bot go out into the sun and bring Buffy the
milk. The Slayer made a face, and a moment later the Bot came back with it.
“She would prefer chocolate milk,” the Bot announced when
she came back into the bungalow.
“There’s chocolate syrup in the fridge,” Spike told her,
never taking his eyes off of Buffy. “Don’t use the whole bottle – read the bloody
directions this time.”
His mind went where it did at least a thousand times a day:
who was the father of Buffy’s baby? He’d asked Buffy point-blank who the father
was, but she’d only given him a tight-lipped, blank stare in reply.
At first he thought it was the bloody psycho that raped
her, but now that it was clear how far along she was, that just didn’t add up.
And, on top of that, why would she want to protect his child? And one thing that
could get her riled up faster than anything was any danger to the fetus. Even
the mention of terminating the pregnancy, which Spike had done when they’d first
confirmed it, drew an immediate and unmistakable objection from the Slayer. She’d
physically attacked him when he suggested it. The Bot pulled her off, and Buffy didn’t hurt him
beyond a bloodied nose, but she’d made her feelings perfectly clear.
Spike had never suggested it again. The idea of her having another
man’s baby tore Spike up inside. It made that knife, which already twisted in his gut
with guilt and heartache, burn with the fire of jealousy and betrayal.
The Bot insisted that she had never seen Buffy giving any
attention to any other human male when they were in Vegas, and she wasn’t
far enough along for it to belong to Captain Cardboard. It had to have happened
while they were in Vegas – there was no other possibility.
Spike was perplexed to say the least; at worst he was
heartbroken, jealous, and angry. She’d told him that she loved him and then
obviously went off and screwed someone else. Had she, even then, still
considered him to be a monster? Had she just been using him all along, right
from the very beginning? She taken the love he’d given her in such earnestness
and trampled it like it was nothing, like it meant nothing. He’d told her once
that she wasn’t like Dru, but he’d been wrong – she was, apparently, just
exactly like Dru.
The horrible irony of it was he still loved her. He
couldn’t blame her for thinking him a monster – he most certainly was. He’d
failed her, he didn’t deserve her, but, God help him, he still wanted her. He
wanted her heart to heal and for her to be herself again. He wanted her to be
happy and healthy, he wanted her to smile and dance and call him a pig; he
wanted her to be Buffy. He was still Love’s Bitch; it didn’t seem to
matter how many times he got kicked in the balls, he just kept coming back for
more pain and heartache.
He’d hoped that, with time, her Slayer healing would find a way to fix
whatever had snapped inside Buffy and destroyed her heart. His only other hope was when she gave birth that perhaps the sight of
this child that she protected so fiercely would give her a reason to live, bring
some spark back to her heart.
Before, he’d thought that having her back for short periods
was worse than not having her at all – now he knew different. This was worse.
What he'd do when she actually flew away from him, he had no idea. Mostly likely
he'd crumble into a billion motes of dust.
Spike was lost and more than a little conflicted. Nothing
he’d tried made any difference to her mental state. He tried talking to her,
he’d tried being silent. He’d suggested going other places – to Paris or Madrid.
She’d just shrugged; nothing piqued her interest. The few times he’d touched
her, usually as a simple reflex, she’d flinched away from him. So, despite
longing to hold her in his arms and comfort her, he’d given her space, never
pushed, but she never came to him, so he let her be. He may be a pathetic,
soulless monster, but he refused to act a cad and remove all doubt.
He was at once angry at her for using him, for cheating on
him after she’d told him she loved him, and heartbroken that he’d lost whatever
love or affection she might have felt for him. His emotions were up and down
like a rollercoaster – feeling undeserving of her love one moment and furious at
her for using him, for lying to him about her feelings the next.
Now, he watched the Bot take the chocolate milk back out to
Buffy where she sat in the sun – the one place Spike could not join her, he
noted sourly. Buffy drank it down in several long gulps and handed the glass
back to the Bot, then she turned her eyes back to the sea – her favorite, pretty
much only, pastime of late.
Spike sighed heavily, and headed for the couch, turning the
volume back up on the TV as he went. He lay down and closed his eyes, resting
his arm over them to block out the indirect light coming in through the windows.
The newscaster began talking again about the terrorist attacks and the increased
security being instituted at all airports in the wake of the hijackings in New
They would have a much harder time sneaking onto airplanes
from now on, Spike surmised.
When he heard the Bot come back inside he said, “Gonna get
some kip. Keep an eye on ‘er for me and wake me up if she does anything at all.”
“I will do so,” the Bot replied as she rinsed the glass out
in the sink, then went to stand in front of the window where Spike had been to
keep a watch over Buffy.
Buffy drank the chocolate milk that the Bot brought her, and
then turned her eyes back to the blue water that sparkled into infinity in front
of her. The sun felt warm on her skin and she wished, as she did every day, that
it would find a way to melt the ice crystals that had formed inside her bruised
and battered heart.
Her body was healed, but the feeling of shame never left
her, and Spike’s rejection only served to fuel and harden the glacier inside.
Even casual touches between them seemed to make him pull away further, as if he
could still feel the dirt lingering on her skin, the disgrace shrouding her
She thought of the few times he’d actually reached out and
touched her. It usually startled her, he did it so rarely, but when she’d turn
to him to try and give him a smile or a touch back, the look in his eyes of
shock and disgust made her back away. She could see it all in his expressive
eyes: see the giant disappointment that she was to him.
He’d learned the secret of her in those few touches: she
hadn’t fought against the monster hard enough; she’d given up, given in. She
wasn’t the person he used to love; she wasn’t the Slayer, wasn’t strong, wasn’t
anyone that was worthy of his love. Just like every other man that had ever
tried to love her, she had ruined it, and he had turned away.
Oh, he said the words everyday at least once, ‘I love you.’
Sometimes he’d go on and on, but she wasn’t sure who he was trying to convince:
her or himself. But Buffy knew the truth. She could see it in his eyes. Spike’s
eyes were the window to his true heart; he spoke volumes with those blue orbs.
If a picture was worth a thousand words, then the expressions that blazed
through Spike’s eyes were worth a million. The love and adoration that had been
in his eyes had been extinguished – her anchor was gone. She knew she had lost
his love, no matter what his mouth said.
As she listened to the waves lap gently against the shore,
she rolled her eyes, remembering the three pregnancy tests. One right after another came back positive. She knew they would, of course.
She’d tried to avoid peeing on the stupid things, but in the end, what did it
really matter? Spike already knew, all they would do was confirm his worst
nightmare: he had a morose ex-Slayer on his hands who was pregnant with a child
he did not want.
The worst part, of course, was the hurt and anger that
blazed in Spike’s eyes when he saw the positive tests. He’d demanded to know
who the father was. He was so upset – furious really. How could she tell him
what he didn’t want to hear? What if he kicked her out right then and there?
She’d be pregnant, penniless, and stranded in a foreign country without anything
or anyone to help her.
She knew she needed a plan, a way to make some money so she
could go. She was frightened Spike would kick her to the curb before she could
figure anything out. Unfortunately, the icicles that now resided in the spot
where her heart used to be made rational planning nearly impossible. She just
kept going in endless, hopeless circles, unable find any solutions.
So, she did the only thing she could do, she just kept
sitting in the sun, staring at the blue sea, and waiting for something to melt
the listless depression that burned her with its icy fingers. Buffy felt like an
iceberg adrift in the freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean and not even the
Mediterranean sun could melt her prison of ice.
“What’s the matter, luv?” Spike asked Buffy later that
night as she ate the dinner that BuffyBot had cooked for her.
Spike had purchased some books about pregnancy, since he’d
never actually been pregnant before or known anyone that was. The selection
included a ‘healthy pregnancy’ cookbook, and the Bot had taken it upon herself
to learn to cook and make meals for Buffy from the book. Since Spike wasn't
pregnant, he'd been spared; he just had a mug of blood.
Buffy had been shoving the food around on her plate for
about ten minutes, but had yet to eat any of it.
“You feelin’ alright? Not got that mornin’, noon, and night
sickness again, do ya?”
Buffy shook her head, studying the food, never looking up
at him. She shuddered at the mention of the month-long hurl-fest that had begun
on the boat on the way over here. She could go forever without experiencing
“What’s wrong then?” Spike wondered, tilting his head to
try and see into her down-turned face.
Buffy looked up at the Bot and then at Spike. “I … don’t
think this is … supposed to touch.”
“Whaddya mean?” Spike wondered.
Buffy waved her fork at the salad in front of her. “Things
are touching that shouldn’t touch.”
The Bot frowned. “I made it exactly according to the
directions in the book. Watermelon, arugula, feta, and mint salad tossed
together with dressing made with onions, lime juice, olive oil, and olives. It
has been arranged and presented exactly like the photographic representation of
the final product in the book.
“Watermelon helps with bloating because it is a natural
diuretic and has fiber,” the Bot continued brightly. “‘This salad has an amazing flavor,
combining the sweetness of watermelon with savory elements from the feta, and
the herby tang of the mint and lettuce. Because of the low calories, you can eat
as much of it as you want’,” the Bot professed, quoting from the cookbook.
Buffy looked back down at her plate, her face impassive.
“I’ve eaten all I want,” she said flatly. “I’d like some ice cream now.”
“Buffy, luv, even I know you can’t live on ice cream and
chocolate milk,” Spike chided her.
“When you have finished the salad, I have mushroom quinoa
risotto as the next course. Quinoa is a super food because it’s a great source
of protein, fiber, and iron,” the Bot offered cheerily, clearly pleased to be able
to contribute to the household and Buffy’s well-being. “And then the main course
is Korean beef broccoli. After that, you can have a moderate-sized bowl of ice
cream for dessert.”
“Ya gotta think of the little bit, eat healthy, get lots o’
vitamins and whatall,” Spike encouraged her. “You want t’ do what’s best for the
Buffy sighed and laid her left hand over the small bulge in
her stomach, clearly torn. After a few moments she stabbed her fork into a piece
of the watermelon in the salad and grudgingly brought it to her lips.
As she began chewing, her face was perhaps the most
expressive Spike had seen since rescuing her. It contorted into something almost
painful as she chewed, swallowed, then took another forkful of the salad. The
second bite had to be washed down with water in order for her to actually
swallow it, but she managed. From there, each bite got progressively smaller and
apparently more painful to chew and swallow. If Spike hadn’t known better, he
would’ve thought she was putting on and laughed at her machinations, but he was
sure she was not joking – at all.
“That’s probably enough o’ that, then,” he offered, finally
showing some mercy when half the salad was gone. “Maybe try some o’ that … mush
stuff ya got,” he directed the Bot.
The Bot frowned. “I do not have any ‘mush stuff’. The next
course is mushroom quinoa risotto.”
“Right,” Spike agreed. “Let’s try that.”
Buffy washed the last bite of salad she’d taken down with a
large drink of water and rubbed her hand round and round over the small bump in her
“I’m sure the bit ‘preciates the sacrifice, luv,” Spike
Buffy simply nodded as she waited for the Bot to bring the
Spike automatically reached out to give her hand, which was
resting on the table, a reassuring squeeze, but he caught himself in time, and
pretended to be picking up a bit of food off the table instead. He left his hand
there, just inches from hers, for several moments, waiting, praying for
her to take it, to touch him. But Buffy didn’t move her hand to his or even seem
to notice. He sighed and pulled it away, back into his own space.
He knew better than to hope for any show of affection from
her. She didn’t love him anymore – if she ever had – but his foolish heart kept
hoping for her to toss him a teeny-tiny crumb. It was all he needed to ease the
pain, just a crumb. But it didn't come.
Spike gave Buffy a small, encouraging smile and wished he
hadn’t taken the salad away. Even seeing her face contorted with what apparently
was distasteful food was preferable to the flat stare. He stabbed a fork into
the remains of her salad, took a big bite, and immediately began to choke.
Buffy watched him choke and chew and finally force the bite
down, but made no remark, she didn’t even smile. She should’ve said, ‘I told you
so,’ at the very least – but no quip or smart-ass comment flew from her lips.
“Well then, that was better than a poke in the eye with a
sharp stick,” Spike offered, sliding the rest of the salad away. “Let’s take
that one off the menu, pet,” he instructed the Bot as she set a bowl of the mush
stuff … errr … mushroom quinoa risotto down in front of Buffy.
“The salad does not have an amazing flavor?” BuffyBot
“It’s amazin’ alright,” Spike muttered. “Just a little
too amazin’, I reckon.”
A few days later…
“What the bloody hell is that?” Spike questioned
suspiciously, his brows furrowed as he looked at the blurry, black-and-white
image on the monitor. “Looks like one o’ them bloody big-eyed aliens!”
The French midwife spoke English well enough, but with a
thick accent that made her a little hard to understand at times. Her laugher,
however, needed no interpretation. “Tweens,” she said, still smiling.
“Tweens?” Spike repeated in the same thick, French accent,
trying to process the word. “Twins!?” he realized, his eyes growing wide. “She’s
“Indeed, Papa. Congratulations, no?” she asked, her smile
The midwife was in her late forties or perhaps as old as her
mid-fifties, Spike guessed, and on the plump side, although quite pleasantly.
She had an easy smile, twinkling green eyes, and thick hair the color of rich
copper that fell in soft waves to her shoulders, framing her round, friendly
face. Her name was Marie-Élise Simon and, according to the licenses and diplomas
on one wall of her office, she’d been licensed and practicing midwifery for
twenty years. Based on the photographs of babies and whole families that
plastered the other three walls, she had brought her share of children into the
“No, I’m not the fa…” Spike started, then stopped. “Errr …
I mean, yeah, brilliant.”
Spike looked down at Buffy and asked, “Did ya hear, luv?
Tweens. Two little bits.”
Buffy’s eyes were glued to the monitor; she didn’t answer
him or even seem to hear. Even so, for the first time in what seemed forever,
Spike thought he saw a flicker of emotion pass behind the dull green façade that
used to be her glittering, emerald eyes.
“A boy and a girl,” Buffy mumbled flatly, not really
speaking to anyone in particular, or moving her gaze from the blurry image.
“Ahhh, it is much too soon to tell, mon amie,” Marie-Élise
replied in her thick accent. “But certainly it is possible.”
“Twins,” Spike muttered to himself as he drove the rental
car back from the midwife’s office to their cabin by the sea, his hands
tightening on the wheel involuntarily.
“Did you know?” he asked Buffy, giving her an oblique
glance before looking back at the road.
“No,” she replied blandly.
“Then why did ya think it’d be a boy and a girl?” he
wondered, suspicion tingeing his words. She knew more than she was saying, that
much was certain. Her stubborn silence drove the dagger deeper into Spike's gut,
ripping him to shreds.
“Slayer, I wish you’d tell me who the father is. I
promise I won’t … be brassed off … for too long … or hurt … much. Won’t go off
killin’ anyone or ripping lungs out … right away, or do anything … daft. Won't
yell or scream ... rant or rave. Just ... for the love of bloody God, tell me.”
Buffy hugged her arms over her stomach, turned her face
away from Spike, and looked out the window to her right at the dark landscape
“Not good enough,” Buffy said to the window in a monotone.
“Bloody right, he’s not,” Spike agreed heartily, his ire
growing with each passing second. “What kinda tosser did you find t’ screw that knocks ya up – with twins
no less! – and just buggers off …” Spike stopped ranting when he caught movement
from Buffy, she was shaking her head in disagreement.
“What? You defendin’ him now?” he asked tersely, leaning
forward, trying to see her face. All he could catch were glimpses of her
reflection in the window when a passing light illuminated her features.
The knife that twisted his guts day and night began to
expand its reach, cutting into his dead heart and releasing the hurt, jealousy,
anger, and frustration that he kept contained there most of the time. Spike felt
himself beginning to tumble out of control. He suddenly snapped. He'd been
pushed the the brink and the Slayer had shoved him over the side. He fell onto
the jagged rocks below, breaking open like Humpty Dumpty, and he was powerless to put himself back
together again. All his emotions, his disappointment, his jealousy, his rage,
and wounded pride poured out of him in that moment like a flood that had been
held too long behind an ever-weakening dam.
“Whaddya think, Slayer, that your
Prince-fucking-Charming’ll be riding up with a glass slipper for ya? Take you
away to his soddin’ palace and you’ll live happily ever-bloody-after?”
She was still shaking her head negatively. “Your promise.
It’s not good enough.”
Spike pursed his lips, his anger and hurt wrestling control
of his mouth away from his brain and his heart. A muscle ticced in his jaw as
every bit of frustration he’d been feeling boiled over, scorching everything in
its path. The volcano inside him erupted in a ruthless tumult of pain aimed
right at Buffy.
“Yeah, well, it’s all I’m givin’. You knock boots with some
git and tell me I’m not bloody good enough? I get saddled with a
boatload, a bloody double-boatload of manly responsibility and I’m
not good enough?
“Didn’t see him carryin’ you outta that prison cell! Didn’t
see him taking you to the doc. If I didn’t love you, those bits woulda been down
the bloody toilet long ago. Don’t need it, I don’t.
“Face it, Slayer, you’re stuck with me. A bloody monster,
the evil undead. Get the fuck used to it or get the fuck out! It’s what you want
anyway. Why the bloody fuck do ya keep hanging about twisting this knife in my
gut? We both know ya don’t want t’ be here. Fucking go, already. Put me outta my
Buffy nodded, never looking at him, as the icicles in her
heart stabbed painfully against her ribs. I’m trying, Spike. I’m trying so
hard, she thought as a single tear slid down her cheek.
They drove the rest of the way home in tension-filled
When they got back to the cabin, Spike was still seething.
He strode inside ahead of her, still hurt and angry with her betrayal and
secrecy. His heart ached, his pride stung, and his anger burned white-hot inside
his gut. Buffy didn’t love him, that much was abundantly clear. He’d given her
space, given her time, given her everything he knew how to give her, but it
wasn’t enough to make her truly love him. She’d just been using him, trampling
on his heart, on his love, just like Dru had.
There was just so much a monster
could take. Well, he was done. Done being a doormat, done being a whipping boy,
done being Love’s Bitch; his patience and understanding and hope had reached
their limits. He was done being ‘not good enough’ for the bloody bitch Slayer. He was just done.
He went over to his suitcase, slid his fingers in between
the lining and the outer-shell, and pulled out a double-handful of
hundred-dollar bills. He turned and tossed them on the floor at Buffy’s feet.
“There. That’s what ya want, yeah? Don’t need this monster skulkin’ about at
your heels anymore. I’m not bloody good enough, eh? Fine, Slayer, go find
someone that is so I can pull this soddin’ knife outta my belly. I’m dying by
inches, here … death by a thousand cuts – and you're the soddin' blade.”
Spike turned abruptly, his duster swirling around his legs,
and headed for the bedroom. “C’mon,” he demanded sharply to the Bot who had come
out of the bedroom when they’d arrived. “Buffy’s on the couch t’night,” he said,
grabbing BuffyBot’s arm and pulling her toward the single bedroom that Buffy and
the Bot had been sharing while he slept on the couch.
“I do not understand,” the Bot complained as she followed
in his wake.
“You wanna love me? Brilliant. Let’s go,” Spike clarified
as he pulled her into the bedroom and slammed the door behind them.
Buffy stood in the center of the living room, looking
blankly from the closed door to the money at her feet. A moment later her pillow
and a blanket were tossed out, and the door closed again, slamming even harder
Buffy bowed her head, knelt down, and slowly picked up her pillow and
blanket from the floor. She gathered up the cash that Spike had tossed at her
and stuffed it into her pillowcase as tears welled in her eyes and her frozen
heart cracked painfully in her chest. When she was done, she sat down on the
couch, clutching the pillow and blanket to her body as the Bot’s excited voice
drifted to her from the other room, “Oh, Spike!”
Buffy curled up on the couch, still hugging the bedclothes
to her chest. More painful tears fell from her eyes as she listened to the plan
that she’d concocted so long ago come to fruition: Spike was over her, he had a
lover, he wasn’t alone; she was. Be careful what you wish for …
Spike pulled the Bot into the bedroom and slammed the door
behind them. He flung her by the arm, sending her stumbling across the floor
before landing on the bed. He stalked after her, his frustration and rage
burning a hole in his chest, right through his heart.
“Thinks I’m not bloody good enough,” he muttered to himself
darkly as he grabbed one of the pillows and a blanket from the bed and tossed it
back out to Buffy, slamming the door closed again.
“Fine. That’s just bloody fine. Don’t need her
bleedin’ games, I don’t,” he grumbled, shrugging his duster off his shoulders
and dropping it to the floor.
BuffyBot had just started to sit back up from where she’d
landed on the bed when Spike put a knee on one side of her and crushed his mouth
to hers in a vicious kiss. He began tugging her shirt off in a feverish rush as
the adrenaline-powered kiss intensified.
“Oh, Spike!” she exclaimed when the kiss broke long enough
for him to pull her shirt over her head. His mouth was on hers again a second
later as he pressed her down onto the mattress, covering her body with his,
devouring her lips and tongue in an angry, hungry kiss.
The Bot’s arms went around his back and began pulling his
shirt up as he’d done hers.
Suddenly, a muffled sob broke from Spike’s lips and his
entire body sagged, all the anger-fueled adrenaline seeping out of him in a
single moment. Spike’s
hands stilled and he gently broke the connection of their lips.
“Stop, pet,” he whispered to her, his voice barely audible,
his breath cool against her fevered lips.
He dropped his head and buried his face in the crook of the
Bot’s neck as he began to sob against her in earnest.
BuffyBot’s hands stilled, still clutching his shirt in her
fingers as she searched her files for the appropriate response. After a moment
she patted Spike’s back tentatively as she’d seen done on numerous TV shows.
“I’ve lost ‘er,” Spike wept against her warm skin. “I’m a
buggering idiot and … I’ve lost ‘er.”
The Bot furrowed her brow as she continued to pat a hand
down on his back in a steady, unaltering rhythm like a metronome. “Who have you
lost? Provide me with a full description and I shall initiate a thorough and
logical grid-like search pattern. I have excellent auditory, optic, and
olfactory senses and am confident that I can locate the lost individual in a
satisfactory time period.”
Spike shook his head as his body shuddered against hers
with uncontrollable sobs. “It’s too late, pet … too bloody late. Buffy’s right …
I’m not good enough. Was a fool t’ think I could be good enough for ‘er.”
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